Thankfully today I got beyond pictures of our hotel room, as exciting as I am sure that was for you, and have a selection of our favorite places in Los Angeles. Obviously, as a family these aren’t all the same places Mr. A and I frequented while we lived in California (we require lower amounts of alcohol and higher sanitation practices these days). However, there are several spots that we have been going to for years.
I’ll start off our “tour” in Santa Monica, where Mr. A and I lived the year that we got married. For those who aren’t familiar, Santa Monica is a beachfront city on the western side of Los Angeles. It houses the Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, and a ton of great shops, bars and restaurants.
I included this picture as proof that when I started my day with Pickle, her hair was done. Although this look is no doubt saying, “Lady, I am going to whip this stupid headband off in about five seconds. 5…4…3…2…1…….”
And it’s off! This trying to grow the bangs thing out is almost as painful as trying to lose weight. Except when I get frustrated with one I run around like a crazy person with a can of Elnett and with the other I run around like a crazy person with a can of Easy Cheese.
These pictures were taken from our time on the Santa Monica Pier. The weather was perfect 80 degrees and no clouds in the sky. Of course.
How much would you give to be on that sailboat right now? Scratch that. How much would you give to be on that sailboat with a Transderm Scōp right now? I know, it just doesn’t sound as nice. But neither does the sound of me retching off the side of a boat.
I looked at living in that building on the far left for my first year at grad school. Then my father reminded me that, as much as I would like it to be true, my first name is not Princess and my last name isn’t Anything Ending with “of Monaco”. So my sad self had to pack it up and move one block off Ocean Avenue. I know, I hear the violins too.
This picture makes me want to laugh and cry hysterically at the same time. If this isn’t a PSA for having multiple children, I don’t know what is. Pickle “enjoying” some rides at Palisades Park on the Santa Monica Pier.
Greystone Mansion, located in Beverly Hills, is a lushly landscaped estate with formal English gardens. Apparently, it is also one of the best kept secrets in Los Angeles because every time I have visited there has been no one else present.
This gorgeous park is the site of the wedding scene from Mariah Carey’s We Belong Together music video. I bet Mariah Carey is still upset about ditching Eric Roberts for Wentworth Miller. Greystone Park to trailer park; not my idea of a good time. Although I am sure he can afford a double wide with his Prison Break residuals. I digress…
The gardens on site are absolutely stunning…
In the rear of this image you can see the top of the mansion, which is closed to visitors most of the time. While we were there, they were setting up for a party. This site has also played host to many movies – most famously as the mansion in “The Big Lebowski”, “Indecent Proposal”, “Spiderman”, “Rock Star” and “There Will Be Blood”. To me, it will always be famous as the (interior) filming location for “Flowers in the Attic“. Eat the Cookie.
The gardens are also a good workout when attempting to chase after a small child.
HOLLYWOOD HILLS AND GRIFFITH OBSERVATORY
Next we meandered up through the Hollywood Hills towards Griffith Park and Observatory.
I am fairly confident that if you actually walk the streets of Hollywood, you immediately contract Hep C. So here is a nice drive-by shot for you. It is one of the grossest places ever, so you are not missing much at all.
We found ourselves at the top of the Hollywood Hills. The view from up there is outstanding. What wasn’t outstanding? My Verizon cell service. Totally lost. And Mr. A was totally unhappy with me, Mrs. Who Needs To Print Out Directions When You Have a GPS??? Oopsie.
But OF COURSE, we found our way. The Hollywood sign is like the North Star for pagans.
Mr. A is beginning to thaw. Pickle has decided to adopt the “hobo chic” look and carry around a cotton candy bucket as a purse all day. Needless to say, I was not pleased.
The only way to see Hollywood, from a very far distance away. Or with all of your vaccinations.
After circling the parking lot for what seemed like hours, we managed to get up to Griffith Observatory, which has some of the most amazing views. And amazing collection of tourists. You may also recognize it as a filming location for Rebel Without a Cause or, my favorite, Paula Abdul’s Rush, Rush music video.
Everyone is very happy because I lied to the Box Office about Pickle’s age (3) to get her into the planetarium show (minimum age 5). Now who’s the Rebel?!
WESTWOOD MEMORIAL PARK
Creepy as it may seem, the Westwood Memorial Park is probably my favorite place in Los Angeles. Hidden behind skyscrapers off the bustling Wilshire Boulevard, this cemetery is the final resting place for many celebrities. And is just a gorgeous and peaceful place. Here I have included just a few of the many “friends” we visited.
Other stars who now “reside” here include: Farrah Fawcett, Donna Reed, Roy Orbison, Carroll O’Connor, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Don Knotts, Mel Torme, George C. Scott, Eva Gabor and Truman Capote. And that is just a few…
It is also a great place to play hide-and-seek. Pickle, after counting to ten, is clearly unhappy with my hiding spot.
W HOTEL WESTWOOD
After an exhausting day of sightseeing, we returned to our hotel for some rest… Only to find a hundred teenage girls standing outside waiting for some band called One Direction.
I shudder to think how many hormones are floating out there… I am pretty sure that my recent acne flare-up is due to my proximity to these groupies. Thanks girls.